Should VIP’s have better SLA’s?

Should some employees be treated better than others?

Do some deserve a higher level of service than others?

Many organizations routinely assign more desirable Service Level Agreements to executive level employees.  The reasons can range from the objective: the CEO’s time is very valuable, so we can’t keep her waiting!  To the very subjective: We wouldn’t want the CEO to complain about us, so don’t risk it!

These VIP-centric service organizations may have a separate phone number or email address that’s reserved for VIP’s.  The phone number may bypass the call distribution system, and go directly to a Tier 2 representative.  Once these VIP requests are entered into the ticketing system, they’re assigned an SLA with a much faster turn-around time. 

Reasons for Better SLA's

Some consider the VIP’s time to be more valuable, and therefore, worthy of faster service.  Or service from a more experienced resource.  If an executive needs something, it’s likely to have a more direct impact on business results, than if that same something is needed by a mid-level manager.

Reasons against Better SLA's

Providing better service to some can negatively impact the level of service to others.  Every service desk has a finite number of resources (time + CSR’s).  If more are allocated to one person’s issue, fewer are available for another employee’s issue.  And can negatively impact the service for others – meaning missing the SLA.

But cultures are moving toward greater equality within the workforce, where everyone is treated equally.  One manifestation of this move toward equality is the evolution of organizational structure.

Changing Structures and changing Cultures

Organizational structures are becoming less hierarchical.  We’re seeing more flat structures.  According to Jacob Morgan, author of  The Future of Work: Attract New Talent, Build Better Leaders, and Create a Competitive Organization, in flat organizations, “there are usually no job titles, seniority, managers, or executives. Everyone is seen as equal.”

If everyone is seen as equal, should they all receive the same level of service?

Some companies – Zappo’s included – are moving to a holacratic structure.   While the media have called holocratic structures “boss-less,” according to Morgan, the basic goal is to allow for distributed decision making while giving everyone the opportunity to work on what they do best.

Ok, so we’re seeing some pretty significant changes in organizations.  And those changes in many cases are causing everyone to be seen as equal.  And if every employee is seen as an equal regardless of their role, should they be treated that way?

Or should VIP’s still have better SLA’s?